Recent News

Rosholt, Cotton, Swann Qualify for U.S. Girls Junior Championship

Chandler Rosholt

Chandler Rosholt

Chandler Rosholt of Cedar Park shot two under par 69 to lead the qualifiers for the U.S. Girls Junior at Sugar Creek Country Club in Houston Texas.  Bentley Cotton and  Kennedy Swan were two of five players that shot 73 and were in a playoff to qualify.  Both player were successful and all three Austin area players will advance to the championship at Boone Valley Golf Club in Augusta, Missouri on July 24-

Rosholt, who will graduate from Chaparral Star Academy in Cedar Park in 2018, has verbally committed to play golf at Auburn.  Click here to see the story.

Cotton, Bentley Cotton driving golf cartshown here in her earlier days as a golf cart driver during the Firecracker Open, plays for Westlake High School and was part of the team that recently finished second in the 6A Texas High School championship.  Cotton’s performance in the second half of the year significantly improved the team’s performance.

Kennedy Swann

Kennedy Swann

Kennedy Swann, who played at Westlake High School, entered Clemson in January of 2017 and has just completed a successful freshman season for the Clemson Tigers, playing in all of the Spring tournaments and providing Clemson with a solid performance.

Click here to read her player profile at Clemson.

 

 

 

 

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Lake Travis Boys Finish 6th In State 6A Golf Tournament

Lake Travis Boys Golf Team at 2017 State 6A Championship

Lake Travis Boys Golf Team at 2017 State 6A Championship

The Lake Travis Boys Golf Team finished in 6th place in the State 6A Golf Championship at Legacy Hills in Georgetown.

The sixth place finish was deemed important for the team for several reasons.  First of all, the team qualified for the state tournament.  That’s no small feat considering they are in the same district with Westlake and Vandegrift and only two teams can advance to regionals.  Then they made it through regionals to the state tournament.   That took some doing.

Second, the experience provided the team with an insight into what it takes to compete at the state level.  That will provide incentive to work harder in the future and to mentally practice being in the pressure of that kind of a tournament.

Trey Bosco shot 71-72 and finished in a tie for 9th in the individual standings.  Nathan Patronzio shot 76-73, Tristan Stalker shot 77-74, Jason Protass shot 76-76 and Grayson Litowitz shot 79-78.

Congratulations on a successful season.

Click here for the full field scores.

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Cedar Park Boys Second In State 5A Golf Championship

Cedar Park's Boys Golf Team

Cedar Park’s Boys Golf Team

The Cedar Park Boys Golf Team finished in second place in the state 5A Golf Championship, held at Wolfdancer Golf Club in Cedar Creek, Texas.  Cedar Park shot 604 for two rounds and finished 13 shots behind Highland Park’s 591.

The team consisted of Ben Dunne, H.S. Chang, Kole Krieg, PJ Schmitz and Carson Vickers.

Ben Dunne led the scoring for Cedar Park with 70-75 followed by H.S. Chang with 75-76,  Kole Krieg with 77-77, P.J. Schmitz with 82-72.  Carson Vickers was fifth in the team scoring.

Dunne finished fourth in the individual standings.

Cary Williams is the head golf coach and indicated he was pleased with his team’s performance.

Congratulations to all the players, coaches, parents and supporters.

Click here for the full field scores.

 

 

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Westlake Boys Capture State Golf Championship

(l-r) Mathew Denton, Reid Davenport, Michael Rome, Thomas Bockholt, Reese Ramsey - 2017 6A State Champions

(l-r) Mathew Denton, Reid Davenport, Michael Rome, Thomas Bockholt, Reese Ramsey – 2017 6A State Champions

Led by Mathew Denton’s 68, the Westlake Boys Golf Team shot a four under par 284 in the final round of the 6A State Golf Championship to win the title by seven shots over Plano West.

Carrying a slim three shot lead over Plano West going into the final round, Westlake needed a good performance in the second round to win the tournament.  Their four under par second round was four better than Plano’s even par 288, so they won by seven.  Four under par as a team over two days is an impressive performance.   No other team matched or broke par for the two days.

Denton’s 68, along with a first round of 72, gave him a four under par total for the championship, one shot shy of tying for the low individual score.  His 140 total put him tied for second with Willam Moll of Houston Memorial.  Moll won the two hole playoff for second place.

Mathew Denton

Mathew Denton

Reid Davenport, who led the Chap’s scoring in the first round with a 69, posted 73 in the second round for a two day total of 142 and tied for 6th in the individual standings.  Michael Rome shot one under par 71 in the second round to go with a first round 72.  His one under par total of 143 was good enough to put him tied for 9th. Thomas Bockholt, who had 78 in the first round, really upped his game and posted an even par 72 in the final round.

So, in the final round, Westlake’s players scores were Denton 68, Rome 71, Bockholt 72,  Davenport 73, Ramsey 73.  That is clutch play and deserving of a state title.

(l-r) Reese Ramsey, Coach Callan Nokes, Michael Rome

(l-r) Reese Ramsey, Coach Callan Nokes, Michael Rome

Reese Ramsey, who will be playing for Texas A&M next year is shown here with Coach Nokes, teammate Michael Rome and the state Championship Trophy.  Rome will be playing for The University of Texas – San Antonio.  Good luck to both graduating seniors.

Ramsey has been the lead player for Westlake for the last couple of years and has mentored his teammates.  They credit him for providing leadership and sharing his experience in preparing for the tournament.

Players from this team returning next year will be junior Reid Davenport, who is committed to Vanderbilt, Mathew Denton, who is committed to Texas A&M, and sophomore Thomas Bockholt.  Bockholt has not yet committed to a collegiate team.

left to right: Coach Grigg, Reese Ramsey, Michael Rome, Mathew Denton, Reid Davenport, Thomas Bockholt, Coach Callan Nokes

left to right: Coach Grigg, Reese Ramsey, Michael Rome, Mathew Denton, Reid Davenport, Thomas Bockholt, Coach Callan Nokes

Congratulations to Coaches Nokes and Grigg, all the players, parents and Westlake supporters.  With the girls golf team finishing second and the boys finishing first in the state 6A tournaments, the Westlake golf program appears to be in good shape.

See the full field scores at this link.

 

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Westlake Boys Lead State Golf Championship After First Round

Westlake Boys - 2017 Region IV-6A Champs

Westlake Boys – 2017 Region IV-6A Champs

Westlake’s Reid Davenport shot a three under par 69 to lead the Boys Golf Team to a three shot lead over Plano West in the first round of the State 6A Golf Championship being held at Legacy Hills in Georgetown.

Westlake’s steady play as a team put them on top after the first day.  Mathew Denton and Michael Rome posted even par 72 and Reese Ramsey shot 75.

Davenport’s 69 puts him in third place one shot out of the lead held by Damin Strydom from Humble Kingwood and William Moll from Houston Memorial.

The tournament concludes with the final round today.

See thee full field scores at this link.

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Lake Travis Girls Win State Golf Title, Westlake Second

Erik Henson, Clayton Brady, Hanna Liu, Macy Fox, Kaitlyn Papp, Sara Camarena, Morgan Lay, Richard Wagner.

Erik Henson, Clayton Brady, Hanna Liu, Macy Fox, Kaitlyn Papp, Sara Camarena, Morgan Lay, Richard Wagner.

After going undefeated in 2016 and winning eight of ten tournaments this year, the Lake Travis Girls Golf Team won the 6A state golf championship by 11 shots over second place Austin Westlake.  Lake Travis shot 288-292=580, four over par for 36 holes in windy conditions at Legacy Hills Golf Club in Georgetown, Texas.

During the final round on Tuesday, the wind blew 15-20 most of the day so scoring was difficult.  Westlake shot 294, which was close to matching Lake Travis and good enough to overtake Allen and finish in second place.

It’s quite remarkable that the top two girls golf teams in the 6A category are from Austin, considering how many good players there are in the Houston and Dallas areas.  Congratulations to all the coaches, parents and school administrators that provide the opportunity to these young players and congratulations to all the players that put in the hard work required to excel at this level.

Kaitlyn Papp, who shot 67 in the first round and was two shots behind Ellie Szeryk’s 65, shot 70 in the final round to post 137 and win the individual title by three shots over Jackie Barry of Humble Kingwood.  Westlake’s Randi Romak shot 70-71 to finish third in the individual race, one shot behind Barry.   Papp is the highest ranked Texan in the AJGA girls rankings and that ranking proved to be accurate during the tournament.

Papp and Morgan Lay are the seniors on the LT team and have been a member of three straight high school championship teams at Lake Travis.  That must be nice…. The coaches commented that Papp and Lay have done a great job of mentoring the younger players and that is part of the winning tradition at Lake Travis.

Papp will be playing for the University of Texas next year and Lay will be playing for Texas A&M so they might not share the same team spirit they did this year.  However, after playing three years together on winning Lake Travis teams it’s likely they will remain friendly rivals.  Read more about the Lake Travis team on their website.

Coach Patterson, medalist Elena Castanon, Bentley Cotton, Madelyn Jones, Sadie Engleman, Randi Romak, Jordan Shackelford, Coach Nowland

Coach Patterson, medalist Elena Castanon, Bentley Cotton, Madelyn Jones, Sadie Engleman, Randi Romak, Jordan Shackelford, Coach Nowland

With all the success of Lake Travis, it’s easy to overlook the Westlake team.  But come on, they finished second in the state and deserve a lot of credit.  We are talking Texas golf here, where there are lots of good players and teams.

The Westlake team is young and the future looks bright for them.   Randi Romak will be graduating this year but Bentley Cotton,  Sadie Engleman, and Madelyn Jones will all be returning.  They should continue to be a strong team and they will be experienced.

For full field scores click here.

The 6A Boys Championship is May 22-23 at Legacy Hills in Georgetown.  Both Westlake and Lake Travis are in the field.

The 5A Boys Championship is May 22-23 at Wolfdancer Golf Club in Cedar Creek.  Austin High School will be playing in that event.

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The life of one of Austin’s most dedicated activists

Mary ArnoldIn the hills of West Austin, stickers on cars tell stories. “My child is a Westlake honor student,” read some. “Texas Exes” and “Texas A&M Century Club Member,” read others.

Others are green and white — block letters with a small flag stick pointing to the sky.

“Forever Green. Save Muny,” they say.

This is the battle cry for a group of golfers and activists who have made it their mission to save a modest municipal course nestled between downtown and the banks of Lake Austin. They have been in a fight to save Lions Municipal Golf Course – better known as Muny – from development since 1972.

The course is run by the city of Austin, but the University of Texas System owns the land – the Brackenridge Tract — that Lions sits on. The UT System wants to develop the land, while golfers and residents hope to preserve this relic of old Austin.

Mary Arnold has been at the center of this fight since the beginning. For the last 45 years, she has served as a historian for the cause and her role as an activist has had as much to do with saving Muny as anything else. The 82-year-old has been a leader in the Save Muny movement since murmurs of developing the course first came up.

Arnold grew up in Dallas and attended Highland Park High School. She graduated in 1952 and headed south to the University of Texas at Austin. She met her husband, Bill, while living in Austin, and the two married in 1959. The pair left the city briefly to live in Houston, but in 1965 they returned and settled into the city they have called home ever since.

In 1972 the UT System Board of Regents sent a letter to the city of Austin. The letter stated it had one year to get off the golf course. There was no reason given. Arnold said the board cited the city allegedly not paying the $60 per year they owed for the lease. No matter the reason, Muny was in trouble.

Arnold was friends with a woman named Virginia Bedinger who, along with her husband Ben, was an avid golfer at Muny. Bedinger was connected with many vocal leaders in the city, and she decided to organize the golfers to fight the universities demands.

Save Muny was born.

Arnold wanted to help. She offered to do research on the Brackenridge Tract to assist with their efforts. Bedinger was a people person and PR aficionado. Arnold preferred to contribute with her research about the land, and Brackenridge’s original intentions for it. They were a perfect match.

A new lease was agreed upon in 1973 and Muny was safe – for the time being. It was threatened again in 1987. Again, Arnold and Save Muny were able to save the course.  A temporary two-year lease was signed in 1987. In 1989, a 30-year lease was agreed upon. It called for the city to pay the university system $200,000 every year, with a 5-percent increase every five years. Currently, the city pays roughly $500,000 per year, well below market value for the 141-acre property.

It would not be the last time Muny’s future was in jeopardy. In 2006, the UT Board of Regents began looking to the future for the Brackenridge Tract, with hopes to develop it when the city’s lease ran out. By 2008, Save Muny was no longer dormant and Arnold was once again in the middle of it.

In the interim between the lease agreement in 1989 and the fight in the 2000s, Arnold was still an active member of the Austin community. She served on the golf advisory board for the city, she worked on the Save Our Springs Alliance and she ran for city council in 1994 – though it ultimately resulted in defeat.

“It’s hard to recollect it all,” Arnold said as she spoke for 45 minutes about the history of Muny and her involvement – all without notes. The amount of information she can instantly recall about Muny would take most college students a Red Bull fueled all-night study bender to learn – though they would forget it soon thereafter. Arnold does not.

“She’s just a complete dynamo,” said Noel Bridges, one of the newest leaders in Save Muny. “She really is just essential to our group. She knows the history of the city and the history of the Save Muny issue better than anybody else. She’s like an encyclopedia.”

Save Muny is a movement with a distinct generational tie for much of its existence. Yes, younger generations of golfers have always been welcome at Muny – it is used by area high schools for practice, and hosts the UIL state golf tournament every year – but the push to save the course has been led by people from older generations.

“Muny Bulldog” is the term used to label the people who grew up playing the course and continue to visit its grounds regularly – a large portion of Save Muny’s makeup. For the most part, these bulldogs aren’t puppies anymore.

But that generational gap in Save Muny has been shrinking lately. Bridges joined the joined the cause in 2014. She grew up in Austin and considers Muny part of the identity of the city. And since coming on board, Save Muny has become more appealing to the younger generations.

Social media initiatives and other social events have become a staple for Save Muny. Bridges has brought a “youthful energy” to the table.

“As a native Austinite, it’s just something that I feel passionately about,” Bridges said. “Saving the things in town that make Austin such an amazing place to live. If we get rid of all the ‘Muny’s’ in town, then this town isn’t going to be recognizable anymore.”

That’s why Arnold has worked so diligently to save the course. To keep preserve a place that helps define Austin – even as the city changes more and more every day.

Throughout her years working with Save Muny, Arnold has collaborated with countless members of the community. Everyone who has worked alongside her can’t say enough flattering things about what she has done for not only the local golf community, but the city of Austin as a whole.

“Mary is one of the most dedicated activists in the city of Austin’s history,” said Peter Barbour, current treasurer for Save Muny.

Arnold’s colleagues with Save Muny all have their own unique descriptions of what she means to the group, but each and every person praises her commitment to the work.

“If it weren’t for her, we probably wouldn’t be standing here,” Billy Clagett said as he stood in the clubhouse. Clagett is one of the most decorated amateur golfers in Austin’s history, with much of his success coming at Muny.

Ben Crenshaw, one of the most well-known activists with Save Muny, spoke fondly about Arnold’s steadfast commitment to the cause.

“Her historical perspective, calm and yet strong demeanor, and never wavering advocacy to preserve this piece of recreational parkland for the citizens of Austin has been critical in the way the Save Muny committee has approached the campaign to keep UT from selling Lions to commercial developers,” Crenshaw said.

Crenshaw sharpened his golf game at Muny before a professional golf career that included 19 victories, including the Masters in 1984 and 1995. Now, he is fully committed to saving Muny. He recently revealed a restoration proposal for the course, with his design firm – Coore and Crenshaw — providing the services.

The fight over Muny’s future has also made its way into the state legislature in recent months. Sen. Bob Estes (R-Wichita Falls) introduced Senate Bill 822, which would transfer ownership of the land from the UT System to the Texas Parks and Wildlife association. The measure passed through the Senate on a 21-10, and now it heads to the House for deliberation.

No matter the outcome of Senate Bill 822, Save Muny leaders are confident a resolution will come before May 2019. With the pressure from the local community, they feel it is in the university’s best interest to settle the issue once and for all. Hopeful thinking for the end to a long-endured fight.

If the course is saved, Arnold will be one of the biggest reasons why.

“I would love for her to have that win,” Bridges said. “She has worked tirelessly for a long time… I just think it would be incredible to see the day where she can celebrate a win like saving Muny.”

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Lake Travis Girls Lead State Golf Championship – Westlake Third

Lake Travis girls 6A 2016 State Champions L-R Erik Henson,Kaitlyn Papp, Sara Camarena, Kristen Gillman, Lauren Comegys, Morgan Lay, Clayton Brady, Richard Wagner

Lake Travis girls 6A 2016 State Champions L-R Erik Henson,Kaitlyn Papp, Sara Camarena, Kristen Gillman, Lauren Comegys, Morgan Lay, Clayton Brady, Richard Wagner

The Lake Travis Girls Golf Team continued it’s dominance in the state 6A girls high school golf scene with a first round score of 288 at the State High School Golf Championship being played at Legacy Hills in Georgetown, Texas.   The even par total was good for a seven shot lead over second place Allen and nine shots over Austin Westlake.

In 2016, the Lake Travis girls team won every tournament they played.  I think the total was 12 in a row including the district, regional and state championships.  They were undefeated.  They may have been the best high school golf team the state has ever seen.  Not only were they winning but they were shooting under par as a team.  Unbelievably good.

This year, the Lake Travis girls have continued to be the team to beat and they have only been beaten a few times.  After winning the district and regional tournaments, they are poised to add another state championship to the legacy of this program.

Kaitlyn Papp, who is currently ranked 9th in the American Junior Golf Association rankings,  led the scoring for Lake Travis with a five under par 67.  Consistent play by the rest of the Lake Travis team enabled them to grab the lead.  Hanna Liu shot 73, Morgan Lay 74, Sara Camarena 74.  Macy Fox shot 77 but only the four best scores are counted in the team total.

Austin Westlake, who has been pursuing Lake Travis all year and has beaten them on occasion, is nine shots behind with an outside chance to grab the state title.   Randi Romak led Austin Westlake in the first round with a two under par 70.  Bentley Cotton shot even par 72, Madelyn Jones posted 77 and Sadie Engleman had 78 for a 297 total.

Ellie Szeryk of Allen led the individual scoring with 65, two ahead of Papp and four ahead of Jackie Barry of Humble Kingwood.

The championship is being played at Legacy Hills in Georgetown.   The course demands accuracy off the tee and if a player can drive it well there are scoring opportunities, as demonstrated by several scores in the sixties that were posted.  The championship concludes with the second round on Tuesday.

The full field scores are available at the University Interscolastic League website.  Click here for those scores.

 

 

 

 

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Michael Cooper Shoots 63 At Austin Country Club

Michael Cooper

Michael Cooper

I was on the putting green at Austin Country Club practicing with some friends about a week ago when Michael Cooper approached the first tee with some clients from Houston.  We chatted and then they teed off, playing from the number one tees.

The next day I heard that “Coop”, as he is know around local golfing circles, had shot 29-34=63 during that round.  I caught up with him on the practice tee yesterday and asked about the round.

He said that it kind of came out of nowhere because he had not been playing that much but it was just one of those days when things went right.  He birdied the holes 1, 3, 5,6,7,8,9 and turned in 29, something he had never done at ACC.  He bogeyed 10, then birdied 12,13 and 15.

He indicated he had missed good birdie opportunities on 16 and 17 so and felt like it could have been a shot or two better although he admitted it’s hard to complain about a 63.  He hit it close on four or five holes, made a bunch of 10-15 footers and one long putt.

I watched him hit balls for a few minutes and admired the nice tight draw he was hitting.  I noticed his motion was different from his normal swing and asked what was going on.  He told me his right shoulder was bothering him some and it was forcing him to rotate more through the shot to put less stress on the shoulder during the follow through.  It turns out that was beneficial because there was less flip in the swing and the club was more in front of him during the downswing.  He laughed at it and said “I’m going to stay with this motion until it doesn’t work and then like everybody else I’ll probably be trying something else next week”.

Cooper played golf for the University of Texas and has enjoyed a productive amateur career with multiple wins locally including a couple of Men’s City Championships and a two Firecracker Open wins.

One of the admirable qualities about Coop is that he has paired with junior golfers in the Muny Spring Partnership on several occasions to mentor these players.  It’s something important to him.

It’s good to see him play well.

 

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Jay Reynolds Advances To U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying

Steve Hammond and Jay Reynolds

Steve Hammond and Jay Reynolds

Jay Reynolds, shown here with the 2017 Spring Championship trophy, was the only Austin based golfer to make it through the local U.S. Open qualifying at Wolfdancer Golf Club in Bastrop on Monday.  Several others, including Wes Short, Omar Uristi and Matthew Perrine came close.

Four players shot four under par 68 and qualified to advance to sectional qualifying.  Reynolds shot three under and was one of five players in a playoff for four spots.

Weather delayed the playoff until almost dark.  The players proceeded to the 15th, a short par four which requires a layup and short iron to the green.  Reynolds hit three iron and a lob wedge to four feet, eventually making a par and advancing to the sectional qualifying at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas, Texas on June fifth.

Meanwhile, Wes Short choose driver and hit a wayward shot that eventually wound up as a lost ball, partially due to the low light conditions.  The other players managed to find their ball and make a score better than Short so they all advanced.  Short is the first alternate and Omar Uresti is the second alternate.

Click here for full field scores.

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